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Legacy h

S T T U EN O K EV C E CH AY

ID L O H

FALL 2014

  T H E   J O U R N A L   O F   T H E   R E N O   C O U N T Y   H I S T O R I C A L   S O C I E T Y

ride ‘em bullfrog? langdon fishery a major competitor nationwide…page 4

I 12 donors step up to help ailing museum facilities

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S

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E 16 beautiful illustrations found in textbooks


HISTORICAL SOCIETY STAFF (full-time)

Legacy h

THE JOURNAL OF THE RENO COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Linda Schmitt, executive director, rchs linda@underkansas.org

Ashley Maready, chief curator, rchs ashley@underkansas.org

Gayle Ferrell, director of operations, strataca gayle@underkansas.org

Tonya Gehring, operations manager, strataca tonya@underkansas.org

Dave Unruh, maintenance supervisor, strataca dave@underkansas.org

Myron Marcotte, mine specialist, strataca

4 langdon fishery a phenomenon

12 museum buildings get a facelift

sarah@underkansas.org

Lynn Ledeboer, curatorial assistant, rcm lynn@renocomuseum.org

Paula Dover, administrative assistant, rcm paula@underkansas.org

...generous donors fund critical repairs

14 welcome to our new service rep

...sarah takes the leap to strataca

15 no dog ears in this classroom

myron@underkansas.org

Sarah Voran, customer service representative, strataca

...catte fish shipped far and wide

...focus on book repair and preservation

16 beautiful old textbooks surface

...illustrations and photos abound

18 two volunteers join our team

...and bring their own set of skills

20 thanks to supporters BOARD OF DIRECTORS Richard Shank, president • Nan Hawver, president-elect Billy Klug, treasurer • Laura Snyder, secretary • Michael Armour • Tim Davies • Elaine Fallon • Mary Wilson • Bill Pfenninger • Carol Carr • Cris Corey • Katherine Goodenberger Arlyn Miller • Frank Alexander • Lee Spence, ex-officio Mike Carey, ex-officio • Harold Mayo, ex-officio

...and in-kind donors

21 rcm visitors spooked by ghosts

...reno county leaders “resurrected”

22 holiday events crafty … and criminal

...did mommy really kill santa claus?

ON THE COVER EUGENE CATTE JR. WRANGLES A BULLFROG WHILE SON HAROLD (MISSING HIS FEET) LOOKS ON, CA. 1922, THE HEYDAY OF “TALL TALE” POSTCARDS. IT READS, “GOING TO MARKET. FROM EUGENE CATTE FISHERIES, LANGDON, KAS.” (STORY P. 4)

Volume 26, No. 4 Legacy is published quarterly by The Reno County Historical Society, Inc. 100 S. Walnut St., P.O. Box 664, Hutchinson, Kansas 67504-0664 For advertising or membership information, call 620-662-1184. © 2014 The Reno County Historical Society, Inc. ISSN 1045-3423 All rights reserved. The RCHS disclaims responsibility for statements of fact or opinion made by contributors.


THREE UNKNOWN MEN, POSSIBLY INCLUDING EUGENE JR. AND HIS SON, HAROLD, PREPARE FISH FOR SHIPMENT AT THE LANGDON HATCHERY IN 1925. (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE FRESHWATER AND MARINE IMAGE BANK, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON LIBRARIES.)

This fish tale is...

A whopper

“L By Lynn Ledeboer, RCM Curatorial Assistant

arge cement gateposts mark the entrance into Catte Park, with its fine brick house on the green buffalo grass sward that surrounds it. This is the home of the Eugene Catte fish hatchery, where Mr. Catte hatches fish of many kinds for the federal government. Strings of ponds, one draining into the other, fed by springs, make everything fine and cool in the shade along the edge of the lake. It is a fine place to visit.” – The Hutchinson News Saturday, June 16, 1928

It sounds like a lovely paradise right here in Reno County, Kansas … Langdon Township to be exact.

ONE OF THE LARGEST The Catte Fish Hatchery was one of the largest privately owned fish breeding businesses during its almost 25 years of operation. The 1928 News article promoted day trips throughout Reno County, and encouraged the curious traveler to visit the lush, garden-like Langdon location. It’s an improbable Kan-

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sas tale that begins with Eugene Catte Sr. Mr. Catte (pronounced like “cat tea” by locals) was born May 10, 1828 in Cunelieries, France, to Jean Claude and Catherine (Favez) Catte. He married Genereuse Abry, born in Joncherey, France, and found his way, as did many immigrants, to the United States. Three sons shortly followed, all born in Brooklyn, New York – Louis in 1861, Eugene Jr. in 1866, and Joseph Jackson in 1868.


BOGGY GROUNDS WERE PERFECT FOR FISH PONDS.

Eugene Jr. was a slender boy with health problems. So sometime around 1877, Eugene Sr. took his family and headed west in the hopes of weather better suited to Eugene’s health.

CLAIMS STAKED

They arrived in Hutchinson and several years later walked to the Langdon area to stake their land claims, Louis in 1890 and Eugene Sr. in 1891. Not to be left out, Eugene Jr. attempted to stake a claim, but he lost the land when it was discovered that he was under-age. However, it wouldn’t be long before Eugene Jr.’s fortune would change. Father and sons took to traditional farming, planting corn and raising traditional livestock at first, but eventually found the going tough.

of mules, one good horse, a wagon, and a new set of harness, and the banker asked, ‘How many cows do you have to add to this?’ Mr. Catte finally paid the note when he got a job herding wild geese off his neighbors’ wheat fields.” In his struggles to support his family, Eugene Sr. also worked as a freighter. He hauled

away in 1898 at age 70. As brothers Louis and Joseph settled into the Langdon area, they continued farming – corn, wheat and livestock. Eugene Jr. did the same, however, he saw other opportunities as well. Capitalizing on fresh springs and the boggy grounds on their land fed by Silver Creek, Eugene converted these wetlands THE CATTE BROTHERS IN THEIR LATER YEARS – EUGENE JR., LEFT, AND LOUIS.

MORTGAGING MULES

A charming story in the 1937 book, “Arlington,” by J.A. Fehr told about the elder Eugene’s struggles to make ends meet: “In the early days, he owed (the) druggist $2.40 and came here for more medicine, but was refused because he owed such a large bill. He decided to borrow $5.00 from (the) pioneer bank for sixty days. Two dollars was immediately added for interest and he had to give a mortgage on one span

groceries and supplies from Hutchinson to Sun City and Lake City settlements in Barber County, and hauled back firewood from the hill country on the Medicine River. For these 60 miles he was paid only $1.50 per load. Homesteading was certainly no easy float on the pond, and after the harsh realities of prairie life, Eugene Sr. passed

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into fishing ponds. He began to raise carp, bass and catfish to supply the family table with ample food. Branching out, Eugene sold the fish to close neighbors and surrounding areas, including Turon, Arlington and Sylvia. Markoleta Padgett, granddaughter of Eugene Jr., remembers him as a

(See EUGENE, page 6)


THE 1902 PLAT MAP, LEFT, SHOWS EUGENE’S 80 ACRES WITH THE PONDS AND STREAM GOING THROUGH THE CENTER OF HIS LAND. THE 1918 PLAT MAP ABOVE SHOWS EUGENE’S 140 ACRES, LISTS THE FISH HATCHERY, AND SHOWS THE OUTLINES OF THE HATCHERY.

Eugene tall and well-liked (Continued from page 5)

self-educated man who was very instructive. “I learned to swim at the ponds. Grandfather put me onto the end of a rope and tossed me in,” she related. “We spent most of our time in the ponds swimming.” She mentions that she wasn’t sure if Eugene went past the eighth grade in school, but even so he seemed well educated. Markoleta described his penmanship as “beautiful” after he wrote her name surrounded by a flourish of flowers and birds. Eugene was a very tall man, well-liked with an even temperament. He married Katherine Roth on July 4, 1888, and had four children, Mildred, Harold, Jules and Genereuse, his mother’s name. Markoleta remembers her grandmother Kate as a short, plump, jolly lady with one very deep dimple. She was a very good cook, and when Markoleta’s family would come to

visit there was plenty of of water in which to hatch tasty, good food, especially bass and crappie. fish and bullfrog legs. As early as 1906, EuMr. S. F. Fullerton: …”Roily gene had become quite (muddy) water is the best serious about raising place to hatch crappie; it and breeding fish as that cannot be done in clear year his name was listed water.” for new membership in the American Fisheries Mr. Titcomb: “We treat Society. calico bass and He submitted a crappie almost paper, “A Methindiscriminately EUGENE od of Rearing in our distribuMIXED UP and Handling tion work. They IN FISHY Young Fish,” seem to require DISCUSSIONS for competition the same conin the 1908 Inditions, that is, ternational Fishery roily water during Congress, September the spawning season. 22-26 in Washington. The Mr. Catte, however, has a American Fisheries Sociseries of ponds fed by botety presided and President tom springs of clear water, Theodore Roosevelt himwhere he has successfully self hosted a reception for propagated strawberry the members at the White bass.” House. Eugene attended the Mr. Eugene Catte: “I hatch Fishery meeting in July thousands of them in 1909 at the Secor Hotel clear water.” in Toledo, Ohio, and took part in the following fishy Mr. Clark: “Do you mean discussion among memcrappie or strawberry bers about the best type bass?”

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A WIDE VARIETY OF BREEDER FISH WERE SHIPPED TO STOCK PONDS IN OTHER STATES.

u Mr. Catte: “Strawberry bass.” Mr. Titcomb: “Mr. Meehan says strawberry bass do best in cloudy water.” Mr. Meehan: “That is true. Our strawberry bass did decidedly better where the water was a little roily.” Eugene may have been slightly at odds with his fellow members in 1909, but his fish certainly agreed with him as his hatcheries continued to flourish abundantly. In 1910 the Catte Fish Hatchery sent a rail car filled with fish to stock a city lake in Guthrie, Okla. The Santa Fe Railway, which stocked the lake, made the purchase. The

fish-breeding business the frogs that were facing was really beginning to away from the light.” spawn now! By this time Eugene was One of the more unusushipping breeder fish to al of the live-animal disstock ponds, streams and plays at the Kansas State lakes in Iowa, Texas and Fair in 1911 was Eugene other states. His breeds Catte’s glass tanks full included bass, black bass, of gold crappie fish, bass and goldand other fish. eugene’s fish breeds of Doing featured fish. He well in the also exhibfish-breedat 1911 kansas ited a tank ing busistate fair filled with ness led bullfrogs. to Eugene “The having bullfrogs “one of the were caught at night,” finest red brick homes in Markoleta shared. “They the country.” would tie a piece of red Markoleta recalls that flannel to a long cane Eugene built the home pole and shine a flashhimself of double walls of light towards the pond. brick with a small space They always went after between the walls that acted as insulation. She said it was always cool in the summer and warm in the winter. So solidly built was the house that they had quite a bit of trouble converting it to electricity as they could barely get through the thick walls.

INDOOR PLUMBING FROM THE START!

A bit rare for its time, the house had indoor plumbing from the very beginning, including an extra-long bathtub installed to accommodate Eugene’s lanky body. Markoleta recalled what a pleasure it was to bathe in that big bathtub as a

(See EVEN, page 8)

STILL IMPOSING, THE FORMER CATTE FARMHOUSE, LEFT, STANDS TUCKED AWAY NEAR LANGDON.


THIS BIRD BATH ON THE OLD CATTE FARMSTEAD HINTS AT JUST HOW DELIGHTFUL THE PROPERTY WAS IN THE 1930S.

Even indoor plumbing (Continued from page 7)

child “…in the bathroom that was almost as big as a bedroom.” The bathroom and four bedrooms were on the second floor and the living room, parlor, den and big kitchen were on the main floor. Markoleta remarked that even with the indoor plumbing “…they still had the privy by the chicken house.” Later on a closet under the stairs was converted to a half-bath.

UNUSUAL CHICKEN HOUSE & MAILBOX

Also unusual was the construction of the Catte chicken house, which Eugene built of red brick to match the main house. Not to be outdone, the mailbox post was also built of red brick and had a bronze insert below the mailbox with a carved fish and the name “Eugene Catte” carved into it. Others remember the insert possibly made of cement.

In the front yard a large cement fountain welcomed guests, and the Catte children often played by it. Markoleta fondly remembered what a nice place the Catte homestead was to visit on weekends.

red brick chicken house matches the house The United States government owned a hatchery in Neosho, Mo., as well as others but was unable to meet the public’s growing demand for fishing in well stocked ponds, lakes and streams. What was once commonly called Catte Park, Catte Fisheries or Catte Fish Hatchery, now was referred to ponderously as

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tbe Langdon Sub-Station of the Bureau of Fisheries, Neosho, Missouri. The hatchery began to fill orders from the government to ship fish east in 1912. On December 10, 1912, Car No. 4 of the Rock Island Train No. 34, with Captain Kerns at the head, was filled with about 100,000 fish, including 12,000 black bass. Langdon native Guilford Railsback described the government fish cars and operation in his compilation of Langdon history from 1887–1987. “The fish car crew consisted of a manager, four helpers, and a cook. The car contained an office, a complete bathroom with hot and cold running water, a kitchen, a dining room, and berths for all members of the government party and had its own electrical system and


EUGENE’S FISH, INCLUDING GOLDFISH, WERE SENT AS FAR AFIELD AS TEXAS AND PENNSYLVANIA.

u boiler. In the center of the from C.D. Forby, manager car were two large storage of the Ball Manufacturing compartments where Company in 1916. the fish cans were Also that year, 20 service to placed, so concans with 4,000 community structed that they fish were used to also a top could be iced to stock ponds at priority keep the temperathe Hutchinson ture at the correct Reformatory. degree to handle Eugene’s hatchery the fish properly. An air had become so notable compressor kept the air that “Popular Science constantly bubbling in the Monthly” published an arfish cans.” ticle about his fish hatching business in a 1916 The compressor and issue, shown below. hose attached to every car saved the crew from the tedious, hard work of aerating the cars by hand. The fish cars came to get the fish and sweep it away to points east and south, but they also brought the crew, which included one Roger Pascal Tanner. This tall, easy-going, “true southerner” became quite well known to the family from his visits to the fishery. So well known that Mildred, Eugene’s daughter born in 1901, apparently didn’t have to kiss too many bullfrogs to find – and marry – her prince charming.

EUGENE”S FISH SOLD FAR AND WIDE

On May 25, 1914, Eugene reported that his fish were spawning 36 million eggs that would eventually be sent to Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas and New York. An order for 6,000 goldfish alone came

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Although obviously busy with his fish business, Eugene was also quite active in the community as he was listed as treasurer of Langdon Grade School around 1915 in the book, “The Old Trail & The New, 1865–1918.” Seeing Catte’s success in fish breeding, other fisheries began to crop up around the Langdon area, including those owned

(See GOLDFISH, page 10)

EUGENE CATTE’S FISH FARMING OPERATION WAS THE FEATURE OF THIS ARTICLE IN “POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY” IN APRIL OF 1916.


TEN OF EUGENE’S 15 PONDS WERE DEVOTED SOLELY TO RAISING GOLDFISH.

Goldfish hatchery one of only a few (Continued from page 9)

by Cy Wyman and W. L. Mull. Long-time friend, neighbor and fellow fishery operator Cy Wyman passed away in 1916 and left 60 acres to Catte in his will. A plat book of Reno County shows Eugene owning a total of 140 acres in 1918.

TEN PONDS SOLELY FOR GOLDFISH

ONE CAN ONLY IMAGINE HOW IMPRESSIVE THIS MAILBOX, RIGHT, WAS WHEN THE BRONZE PLAQUE WITH THE FISH AND THE “CATTE” NAME WAS STILL ATTACHED.

So the hatchery grew and covered 13 acres and included 15 ponds of which 10 were devoted solely to raising goldfish. In the early 1920s Eugene had one of the few goldfish hatcheries in the country. Fall was the busy season for the fishery which saw Eugene and his son, Harold, born in 1895, wading into the ponds in high rubber boots to sort out the marketable fish with bare hands and load them into cans for shipping. Eugene became quite an expert at counting the small fish, five at a time, to fill the cans. As many as six rail cars of one- to three-inch fish were sold to the government each year, valued at about $1,500 (about $22,000 in today’s market). Besides the backbreaking work of sorting and

loading the fish, Eugene spent many hours fighting off the natural predators that the fish drew to the ponds – turtles, snakes, muskrats and ducks. He kept quite an arsenal in his war against these competitors for his stock. Besides fish, Eugene had a flock of 25 Shropshire sheep in 1923 that he raised to keep the weeds down and mow the pastures as well as providing wool and meat. Eugene was quite a nature lover, planting hundreds of trees on his land – cottonwoods, black locust and willows among them. A 1924 Hutchinson News article, “Langdon Man who Raises Fish is Great Lover of Outdoors and its People,” describes his discovery of the skull and jaw of a mastodon a year earlier as well as his unearthing the “fossil remains of a great sea dragon.” He is quoted as saying, “You can’t beat nature. Scientists are always talking about their wonderful discoveries but nature still has countless secrets that they have never learned.” His daughter, Mildred, also shared his love for

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nature and loved to hunt. Eugene’s granddaughter, Markoleta, recalled a photo of her Aunt Mildred coming back from a hunt with a deer draped around her neck.

Mildred planted flower beds, water lilies, many vines and shrubs and generally created a parklike atmosphere on the Catte lands. Folks from all over Reno County came out to the Catte ponds on Decoration Day to buy Mildred’s lily plants to decorate the graves of loved ones. The water lilies were a side business for the Cattes as they


shipped out many plants Superintendent of the Areach year, bringing in izona State Fish Hatchery about $500 ($7,500 today) near Phoenix. annually. The Depression era hit, On the largest pond, and that same year the Eugene created an isCatte Fish Hatchery doland in the center, nated 800 pounds accessible only of fish to the local by rowboat, Salvation Army vine-covered where he built to distribute to hut on island a cone-shaped locals needing draws visitors log hut covassistance. to pond ered with vines. Markoleta statSo lovely and ed that Eugene well kept were was a great huthe grounds that the manitarian who loved Kansas City Angler’s Club people, and his actions at rented one of the ponds that time certainly seem and visited each year to to verify that. fish and enjoy the Catte Around 1933 the govland. ernment discontinued The governmental agenpaying private breeders for cy, Bureau of Fisheries, fish, and the thriving priofficially leased the hatchvate fish-breeding indusery ponds from the Cattes try came to a sudden halt. in 1924, ending the fully As with many industries private ownership of the hatchery by the Cattes. Blue gill and perch were added to the fish varieties, and each October fish were shipped out by rail to states throughout the country. Harold Catte, Eugene’s son, who by now had vast experience raising fish, became the Superintendent of the new Meade County State Park and Hatchery in 1929. It was a new hatchery with one fish pond covering more than 100 acres. By 1932 Harold was appointed

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in which the government took over administration, the government began controlling its own fish hatcheries. After so many years of developing a unique industry in Langdon Township and becoming a well-known expert on fish rearing, Eugene passed away October 6, 1934. Sadly, Harold died of a blood clot following emergency surgery for appendicitis a year later in 1935. There’s nothing better than a good fish story, and many families are able to pull a few out of their tackle boxes. But this story is one fish tale of which Langdon can certainly be mighty proud.

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EUGENE’S FISH MOST LIKELY SHIPPED OUT ON RAIL CARS FROM THIS DEPOT IN LANGDON.


THESE CRACKED AND DANGEROUS STEPS ON THE WEST ENTRANCE TO THE KLINE BUILDING WILL FINALLY BE REPAIRED.

Buildings shaping up

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BUCKLING AND WEAKENED BOARDS MADE THE NORTH PORCH OF THE ROSEMONT BUILDING DANGEROUS AND INACCESSIBLE.

hanks to the generosity of several entities, the buildings housing the Reno County Museum will soon be in great shape! I have been with the museum since 2006, and when I arrived many maintenance issues needed attention. In the eight years since, many more areas of concern have developed or come to light. Often it has seemed that it’s been one step forward and three steps back, trying to keep up with the demands of our century-old buildings. Because of recent positive developments, I will use my Legacy space to recap the maintenance challenges

we’ve experienced, and to thank the individuals, businesses and foundations that have helped us repair and restore the buildings and grounds to a level that they haven’t seen in at least a decade. n In 2008 a grant from Reno County enabled us to repair a leaky roof over the document storage area of the Rosemont building. n In 2009 a failure of the Kline building air-conditioning system caused RCM to be shut down for four months over the summer. Repairs were made with funds from the Delos V. Smith Foundation. n That same year we realized that stress cracks, created by the weight of artifact storage, were accelerating in the second-floor walls of the

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Rosemont building. Reno County provided a grant to move 150 of the heaviest artifacts into secure space at the Trade Center, an area that was donated by Hutchinson Hospital. The artifacts remained there until the fall of 2013 when we were able to purchase an off-site storage facility. n In 2010, after some of the ballasts in our 144 recessed light fixtures began to fail, we realized that these fixtures were becoming obsolete and needed to be upgraded. A grant from the Fund for Hutchinson, a program of the Hutchinson Community Foundation, helped replace 30 of the fixtures the first year. Since then, we have continued to incrementally replace them. n In 2012, after two years of drought, and a broken irrigation system and


fountain pump, the courtyard was looking really rough with dead trees and an empty, badly chipped fountain. A grant from the Fund for Hutchinson enabled us to repair and replace parts of the irrigation system and replace the fountain pump. We also removed the dead trees, and the Hutchinson Tree Board donated eight new ones in 2013. n In the summer of 2012 there was a major water leak in the Rosemont basement, and several major cracks were discovered in the foundation. These were repaired by Mark and Tina Sayler, owners of Central States Hydroseal, at no cost. n In 2012 we began to notice that panes of glass were falling out of the Rosemont windows, putting the precious artifacts stored in the second-floor storage areas at risk. After receiving estimates, the $25,000 cost to repair and restore the old wooden windows seemed out of reach until the Reno County Commissioners agreed to provide a matching grant.

REPAIR TO THE ROSEMONT PORCH WILL OPEN UP NEW POSSIBILITIES FOR THE BUILDING’S USE.

The Adopt-A-Window fundraising campaign was launched in the fall of 2013, and donors gave more than $14,000 for the match. The windows are currently being restored and, once finished and installed, will last another 100 years. n The next three issues have been festering for years and now have become serious problems: * The old front porch floor of the Rosemont buckled and a gate was constructed to restrict access. * The heavy glass security front doors of the Reno County Museum have been causing more and more problems, are obsolete and are not handicapped accessible. * The disintegrating concrete steps on the west side of the Kline building have continued to worsen, and today they are treacherous, rendering that entrance unusable.

ALTHOUGH IN SEEMINGLY GOOD REPAIR, THESE GLASS DOORS ARE VERY HEAVY, DIFFICULT TO OPEN, AND OFTEN CLOSE DANGEROUSLY QUICKLY ON VISITORS ENTERING THE BUILDING.

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Just when it seemed that there was no solution in sight, the Delos V. Smith Foundation came to the rescue with a grant that will address all three of these issues. We are thrilled that these three neglected areas will finally be addressed. When these repairs are complete, we will have a museum free of major Linda Schmitt repair issues that have Executive plagued it for years. Director, Of course, new concerns Reno County will arise, but I am proud Historical of how far we’ve come and Society very grateful to everyone who has helped make this progress possible.

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MYRON MARCOTTE HOPES TO SEE MORE WORLD WAR II ITEMS LIKE THIS PERIOD MAP IN STRATACA’S COLLECTION.


SARAH TOOK THE BIG LEAP WHEN SHE LEFT HER JOB AT THE BANK AND JOINED THE STRATACA TEAM.

Welcome,

Sarah! By Lynn Ledeboer, RCM Curatorial Assistant

W LEGACY WINS! THE LEGACY MAGAZINE WON A THIRD PLACE AWARD RECENTLY IN THE ONLINE MAGAZINE CATEGORY. THE COMPETITION WAS SPONSORED BY NFPW, AN ORGANIZATION FOR MEN AND WOMEN IN THE COMMUNICATIONS FIELD. THE RENO COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY STAFF AND CONTRIBUTORS WRITE THE STORIES AND PROVIDE PHOTOS, AND JANE LEE COMMUNICATIONS, KANSAS CITY, DESIGNS AND PRODUCES THE MAGAZINE.

hen it’s time for a change, sometimes it’s best to go big, and that’s exactly the step new employee Sarah Voran has taken. The Reno County Historical Society would like to welcome Sarah to her position as Customer ized how much she has Service Representative learned and just how at Strataca. different it is to work at Sarah comes to us from Strataca rather than a Commerce Bank. After 15 financial institution. years as a bank teller, she Having lived in San Anwas ready for tonio for three new opportuyears, Sarah “that would nities, expeis no strangbe a neat riences and er to change. place to work advancement. She describes … fun and While with San Antonio exciting.” Commerce, as “hot” and Sarah took a much more tour of Strataurban and ca and thought at the spread out than Hutchintime, “That would be a son. neat place to work … it She explained that here would be fun and excitin Hutchinson her parents ing!” often worried about the It must have been desti10-minute drive to the lony because shortly therecal mall. In San Antonio it after she saw a posting in was more often an hour’s the paper for the job openride on public transportaing and decided, “I can do tion to the mall. that!” Now, with two boys, After two months on ages six and sixteen, the job, Sarah has realand a three-year-old girl,

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Sarah drives to the mall, probably taking turns with her husband, Aaron, who works at Siemens. The mall isn’t the only place for this busy family, as they enjoy camping, fishing and swimming, often at Wilson or Cheney Lake.

EXTRA PERK: NO TV An extra perk of the remoteness of the campsite, Sarah notes, is that “… the kids don’t have TV.” Crafts such as jewelry-making and carving pumpkins with her children are other activities that Sarah enjoys. All in all, change is generally a good thing, and we’re certainly glad that Sarah made the change to join the team at Strataca! Welcome, Sarah!

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TOPICS COVERED EVERYTHING FROM DETACHED PAGES AND BROKEN SPINES TO RED ROT!

Reno County Treasures…

No dog ears here! By Ashley Maready, RCHS Chief Curator

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ith the start of school looming ahead, we decided it was time to teach the fine art of book care and repair. “No Dog Ears Allowed!” on August 14 was the fourth program in RCM’s Reno County Treasures: Talks, Tips, & Treats program series. I was ecstatic as books are my favorite thing in the world, and not enough people know that there are simple ways to help keep your favorite books in great shape for years to come. The RCM staff put together this program in association with Ruth

Heidebrecht, Director of from various sources of Collection Development, damage. I had given a and volunteer Trudy version of this presentaLingle, both from the tion at a South Central Hutchinson Public Kansas Library SysLibrary. tem (SCKLS) book Both are book repair workshop book repair repair experts, experts spoke the week prior and Trudy has to our program, on variety repaired many so I knew it was of topics. books in the RCM librarian-tested research room and approved! collection over the last After my talk, Ruth several years. Ruth was gave our audience a great also kind enough to prooverview of the problems vide the necessary suplibrary books face, and plies for the workshop. Trudy demonstrated some The evening for the simple book repairs. dozen participants began We then assisted our with a slideshow presenparticipants who had tation on how to shelve, brought a wide range handle and protect books of books with problems ranging from detached pages to broken spines to red rot, a chemical deterioration of leather. Our participants had fun and learned a lot about books. And we had fun as well! __________

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EAGER PARTICIPANTS, LEFT, LEARN THE FINE ART OF BOOK REPAIR AND PRESERVATION.

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Watch for information on our next Talk, Tips and Treats series December 6: Trimming the Tree: Ornaments Past & Present:
1-2:30 p.m.


PAGE 2 OF “FISHES,” RIGHT. (1994.62.32)

BOOKS FOCUS ON COLLECTIONS

(1994.62.26)

(1994.62.29)

After “fishing” around in the Reno County Museum artifact collections, this wonderful education book series floated to the surface. These simple books with their lovely illustrations and photos were used in the Sylvia Grade School and library. Fishes, Trees, Insects, and Birds were part of the “Basic Science Education Series.” Buried Sunlight (coal mining) and Ashkee of Sunshine Water (Navajo culture) were part of the “Basic Social Education Series,” and Christopher Columbus was part of the “Real People” series. All the books were published around 1941 or 1942. The 1941 Fishes book, written by Bertha Morris Parker of the Laboratory Schools, University of Chicago, was “checked for Scientific Accuracy by Walter H. Chute, Director of the John G. Shedd Aquarium.”

(1994.62.30)

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(1994.62.27)

(1994.62.28)


FRONT AND BACK COVERS OF “FISHES” FEATURE AN EXOTIC UNDERWATER SCENE. THE 1941 BOOK WAS CHECKED FOR ACCURACY BY THE DIRECTOR OF CHICAGO’S SHEDD AQUARIUM. (1994.62.32)

(1994.62.24)

PAGE 1 OF “FISHES,” ABOVE, PART OF THE “BASIC SCIENCE EDUCATION SERIES.” (1994.62.32)

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Two new volunteers offer variety of skills at museum

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e’d like to welcome two fantastic new volunteers to the Reno County Museum – Kylie Hewitt and Shawn Kirby. Kylie is assisting with collections and exhibits while Shawn is utilizing his “handyman” skills

When asked how she chose this field, Kylie described seeing a “…teeny, tiny booth…” promoting the anthropology department at KSU. It was then she knew that anthropology was the field for her.

OFF TO OZ After graduation Kylie interned with the Kansas Cosmosphere & Space Center. She inventoried collections and assisted with renewing loans. After that internship, Kylie went on to the Oz Museum in Wamego, Kansas, and worked there from January to August of this year. By the time Kylie left the Oz Museum, she had reaccessioned more than 2,000 objects.

BAUM EXHIBIT a “teeny, tiny” booth on ksu’s anthropology department inspired kylie to pursue a career in that field.

in a variety of fix-it jobs around the museum. Although Kylie was born in Texas, her mother was born and raised in Hutchinson, and the family has been here since 2002. Kylie graduated from Hutchinson High School in 2010 and completed her bachelor’s degree in anthropology at Kansas State University in December of 2013.

She also had the opportunity to complete a one-case exhibit comparing the L. Frank Baum illustrations to MGM’s depiction of Oz. Although she enjoyed working on the exhibit, she admits she “… didn’t realize how difficult it would be ...” to create it. After both work experiences, Kylie stated that she learned just how

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important it is to really know and keep up with a collection. In the future Kylie hopes to work with collections, and is currently studying for her Graduate Record Examination, which she will take in November. She is considering the Museum Studies program at the University of Kansas. When not involved in projects related to the museum field, Kylie enjoys cross-stitching, walking her pet Weimaraner, and just hanging out with friends.

SHAWN CAME BACK Once a year many energetic volunteers gather in Hutchinson to help out various organizations under the auspices of the United Way. Shawn Kirby was one of those generous volunteers who joined a group from Siemens Energy to volunteer at RCM. He has continued to volunteer since then, doing everything from repairing switches in elevators to gluing craft projects. Shawn truly has been very handy since he joined the RCM family, which makes a lot of sense as he was a mechanical assembler at Siemens, a painter at a fabrication shop in Burrton for more than five years, and a custom harvester for about 10 years.


shawn loves to drive. in fact, throughout his life he has logged “millions of miles” of driving.

County Museum, Shawn explained what interested him in volunteering: “I like museums. History was always a favorite of my classes in school.” He said he is always amazed at how our pioneers “… made a life out of the prairie ….”

HE LOVES TO DRIVE Born in Westmoreland, after his return. Shawn, his older brothOne of those opportuer, a sister and parents nities was the chance to lived in many locations drive big trucks, tractors throughout and other piecKansas bees of machinfore moving to ery in many “...finding Hutchinson in of his jobs. things that 1969. Shawn stated needed to be In the late that throughimproved…” 1980s Shawn out his life he worked for has logged Pioneer Seed “… millions of Company. miles of truck Moving around Kansas driving ….” and his time at Pioneer As there is very little helped Shawn prepare for opportunity for driving as his experience as a Peace a volunteer at the Reno Corps volunteer in 1990 and 1991.

Driving continues to play a large part in Shawn’s life. Married to wife Margie for 15 years, Shawn’s other major love is motorcycles. From street bikes to dirt bikes to motocross, Shawn has been riding and racing for at least 25 years. He also enjoys spending time with his three dogs. The Reno County Museum is truly lucky to add Kylie and Shawn to our roster of volunteers. We could not do all the things we do without their generous assistance!

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SERVING IN AFRICA He was an agriculture extensionist in Sierra Leone, working with farmers growing seed rice and “… finding things that needed to be improved ….” A truly rich and memorable experience, Shawn began to appreciate the more stable conditions and opportunities available in the states

800-760-5315

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620-662-5315


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Thanks to supporters and in-kind donors

o all the StoryKeepers of the Reno County Museum and Citizens of Strataca, we couldn’t do it without your generosity. Thanks for your support! *New Member RCM STORYKEEPERS Caretakers Whitey & Shirley Alpers Jim & Dianne Cannon *Edna Hendershot

Earl & Ticky McAdams Dr. Robert T. Morrison Gary & Nancy Witham Restorers Charleen Bauer Richard & Jane Falter Dan & Brenda Pace SNB Bank Guardians Dick & Marcia Cooper Virginia Rayl

STRATACA CITIZENS Pickers Jim & Dianne Cannon Mr. & Mrs. R. M. Lundquist Heath Webster Gary & Nancy Witham Diggers Richard & Jane Falter First National Bank Drillers John Caton Dick & Marcia Cooper SNB Bank Blasters Roger & Judy Hawk

IN-KIND DONORS

IN-KIND DONORS

From rolls of toilet paper to scraping pigeon droppings, we would like to thank everyone who contributed items or their valuable time to help out July 1 through October 31. No job was too big or too small. Thanks to all!

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• Barbie Schweizer – cleaning supplies • Ruth Stiggins – cleaning supplies and items for the Oodleplex • Sturgeon Heating & Cooling – discounted labor costs • Siemens, Big Brothers & Sisters, Allen School – United Way work day Dave Unruh – cleaning supplies.

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A YOUNG CAPTAIN AMERICA (LIAM LEDEBOER) GETS A BOOST FROM GUIDE GHOST (GRANDPA DAN LEDEBOER) WHILE HIS PARENTS, DAVID AND BETH LEDEBOER, LOOK ON.

Visitors spooked by ghosts!

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...but the candy made it all worthwhile

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pooky Chills & Thrills at the Reno County Museum! “Boo”-Seum Spook Walk is a smash hit! The Reno County Museum events calendar is loaded down with Christmas events, so we thought it was time to try an event for Halloween! On October 28 RCM staff members set out to make Reno County history come back to life for some little superheroes, witches and goblins.

RENO COUNTIANS RESURRECTED

We “resurrected” some deceased Reno County celebrities for one night only, and let them tell their stories in our darkened first floor exhibit galleries with the theatrical talent of a few volunteers and some thespians from the Hutchinson Theatre Guild. Staff strung up dark curtains to help guide our visitors through the spook walk, and eerie artist Paula Dover made some additional creepy magic with Halloween decorations such as faux cobwebs and plastic spiders. By 5:45 pm we had a crowd waiting at the front doors! Our actors finished putting on

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their make-up and costumes and scrambled into their positions, flashlights in hand. With the help of a few generic “directional” ghosts (assistant curator Lynn Ledeboer and volunteers Dan Ledeboer and Mike Massie, all dressed in the classic white sheet), visitors followed a glowing

path through the exhibit galleries. There our brave visitors encountered lurking Reno County notables such as Ben Blanchard, Delos V. Smith Jr., Prince Zogi the Magician, and Aneta Corsaut. In exchange for listening to the amazing tales, our visitors got candy!

121 SPOOKED BY GHOSTLY TALES

By the end of the evening we had entertained 121 visitors with our spooky tales of Hutchinson history! This event was such a success that we’re already laying the groundwork for next year’s “Boo”-Seum Spook Walk! So if you missed the fun in 2014, come out for 2015!

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BARDO THE CLOWN WAS “RESURRECTED” BY RCHS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR LINDA SCHMITT, LEFT. OUR GHOSTLY GHOULS, BELOW, GATHERED TO PLOT THEIR TOUR OF TERROR.


Murder in the Mine

Salt Safari Mine Adventure

“I Saw Mommy Killing Santa Claus”

November 22, January 3 and select Saturdays 1 to 4 p.m.

Interactive Mystery Dinner Theatre

STRATACA HOURS 9 am–5 pm Tues–Sat 1–5 pm Sunday closed Mondays last tour departs at 4 pm advance reservations strongly recommended

Sunday, December 14: Start time: 3 p.m. / End: 8 p.m. $55 per person / $400 for table of 8 Must be 18 years or older due to adult humor What’s that Mommy up to? Is she naughty? Or is she nice?? You’ll have to be there to find out what happens in this merry Christmas spoof.

Limit: 20 hikers Must be 13 years or older Advance online reservations required This challenging, rugged hike will explore raw areas of the mine, cover many miles, and last up to three hours. Hike is not handi-

allow about two hours for your adventure SALT BLAST PASS our best deal includes gallery tour, dark ride (both handicapped-accessible) and train ride: adults: $19 seniors (60+), AAA and active military: $17 children (4-12): $12.50 reno county residents: $14 strataca citizens: $8 children under 4 not admitted due to mine safety regulations.

Strataca events fill up fast. Make your reservations for these special events soon! Don’t miss out! For details and reservations for all events: underkansas.org 620-662-1425 • 866-755-3450

SCOUTING OVERNIGHTS

pricing available to add only dark ride or train ride to gallery admission. all prices include sales tax. special pricing for groups over 28 and school groups with arrangements made one week in advance. 3650 e. avenue g (at airport road) hutchinson, ks 67501

620-662-1425 toll-free 866-755-3450 underkansas.org

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Scout Overnights: January 10 February 7

Merit Badge Overnights: January 17 January 31

CHECK OUT STRATACA ATTRACTIONS ON BACK COVER.


RENO COUNTY MUSEUM

EVENTS & EXHIBITS Reno County Treasures: Talks, Tips, & Treats

see these delicate little angels up close at the rcm “trimmimg the tree” event december 6.

These fun, informal workshops will focus on education, creativity and treats!

December 6 – Trimming the Tree: Ornaments Past & Present: 1-2:30 p.m. Free! Bring your special cherished ornaments to show off. And we’ll have many from the collection to share as well. Enjoy the season’s treats while we admire the tinsel.

let your imagination run wild like this young artist did at last year’s cookie decorating event.

RENO COUNTY MUSEUM HOURS 9 am–5 pm tues-Fri 11-5 saturday closed sunday and monday

Old-Fashioned Christmas

December 13, 10-noon Create some crafty, cheery holiday gifts. ($1.50 per child for crafts)

free admission unless otherwise noted

Cookie Decorating

December 18, 5-7 p.m. Time to pile on icing, sugar crystals and sprinkles. For more information: 620-662-1184

100 S. Walnut 620-662-1184

EXHIBITS

RCM on the Road… Comes Home

Tough, Rough & Ready: Reno County Tools A-Z

From 2011 to 2012, RCM travelled to 14 Reno County communities to display artifacts from those towns. The exhibits stayed up for six months. Now we are bringing this exhibit back to Hutchinson for all to see. Also we are accepting photographs of current and historical items relating to any of the Reno County cities. We’ll display them along with this exhibit.

This tool-tally awesome exhibit displays an amazing variety of tools that built Reno County from the ground up.

A Peek Inside Reno County’s Jewelry Box From rhinestones to fine gold, see what adornment Reno Countians have been wearing from the mid-1880s through the 1960s.

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Hail to the Hall: 100 Years of Convention Hall This exhibit traces the history of Hutchinson’s historic Convention Hall and officially displays the items from the Convention/Memorial Hall 1911 time capsule box.

Transportation Gallery See the Schuttler wagon, an Amish buggy, the Indian motorcycle, sidecar and much more.

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f email us snapshots of your community and we will post them along with the “on the road” exhibit. send to: lynn@renocomuseum.org.

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Reno County Museum Presents

Trimming the Tree:

reno county historical society

Ornaments Past & Present Saturday, December 6, 2014 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. FREE!

p.o. box 664 hutchinson, kansas 67504-0664

return service requested

Show off your cherished Christmas or holiday ornament & share its history with us. We will have our special ornaments from the collection on display. Enjoy seasonal desserts while we marvel over the sparkly, delicate decorations. Reno County Museum 100 S. Walnut Hutchinson, KS 67501

For more information, please call 620-662-1184 or email paula@renocomuseum.org.

If your address changes, please call us at 620-662-1184.

STRATACA ATTRACTIONS The Shaft See this engineering marvel that houses the sixton double-decker hoist that transports visitors 650’ below ground. Stratadome Intriguing and palatial, experience the grandeur of this vaulted salt room. Play in the Permian Playground filled with a variety of hands-on salt. Salt secrets exposed! Mining Gallery See the Myron-mobile, a post-apocalyptic looking car driven by Mike Rowe, the host of the TV show “Dirty Jobs.” Discover modern day mining practices versus mining in the past. Find out what a day in the life of a miner is really like.

Harry’s Habitat (Dr. Vreeland’s Fluid Inclusion Exhibit) The world’s oldest living organism, nearly 250 million years old and once encapsulated inside a salt crystal, is a resident of Strataca. Learn about its discoverers, Dr. Russell Vreeland and his team.

GE Engine No. 2 One of only three such engines ever built, it is now on display outside of Strataca. Built in 1919, the train ran along a short railway line from 1928 to 1963 that provided switching services for the Carey plant and mine.

Salt Mine Express This 15-minute train ride is a narrated, guided tour through a part of the mine that was active in the 1940s and ‘50s.

The Iodine Deficiency and Disorder Story Explore the efforts of Kiwanis International and UNICEF in using salt to combat the devastating effects of iodine deficiency.

The Dark Ride Your personal guide delivers fascinating information on a 30-minute tram ride where you experience true “mining dark” and collect your souvenir piece of salt.

The Story of Underground Vaults & Storage View costumes and props from your favorite movies in this exhibit focusing on a unique underground storage business.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON EXHIBITS AND EVENTS AT OUR MUSEUMS, SEE PAGES 20-21.

Legacy Fall 2014  

Riding bullfrogs? No feet? Somebody in Reno County had a great sense of humor! Find out about the fascinating history of this Langdon fish h...

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